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Rents in Qatar skyrocket ahead of FIFA 2022

Residents and long-term expats are feeling the pinch of increased accommodation costs in Qatar

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

While the FIFA World Cup is expected to drive massive revenue and add a lot to Qatar’s reputation, it has also resulted in an enormous spike in rental costs.

Locals claim that property-owners have increased rents to as high as 40%, leaving tenants with no choice but to vacate or agree to the inflated costs.

Qatar has a higher expatriate population, and many live in hotels as long-term occupants; however, a Reuters report says that these hotels have asked the occupants to vacate. This is being done to accommodate teams, officials, and visitors arriving to watch the World Cup.

The report further hints that the rising rental cost has been a major contributor to Qatar’s inflation. According to data, rental costs have gone up by 3.3%, while in Pearl, the artificial island, they are up by 19% already, owing to increased demand

It is believed that Qatar will have over 1.2 million visitors during the World Cup, and accommodating them will be the biggest challenge for the country. Multiple innovative solutions like desert camps, cruise ships, etc., are being deployed to make space for tourists. Qatar Airlines is partnering with other airlines in the region to offer jet taxis to visitors who want to fly in too.

Organizers, including FIFA, have reserved thousands of rooms and residences for the officials, staff members, crew, and players.

Experts, however, feel that this surge is temporary, and the rental costs will come down as “as there will be increased supply,” Commercial Bank of Qatar’s Chief Executive Officer Joseph Abraham was quoted. The temporary workforce brought in to work on the projects around the World Cup is expected to leave once their projects are completed. As fewer people will be required to manage the event, it will help ease the accommodation crunch.

Since the demand for accommodation is short-lived and expected to phase away after the world cup, Qatar Central Bank’s index of real estate prices is 30% lower than it was in 2015.

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